Family brunches, sunny courtyard lunches, lively dinner spots, and laughter-filled dining rooms. This is Melbourne's family-friendly dining scene, an integral part of the city's vibrant culinary tapestry.

It’s no surprise that Melbourne is home to some of the best family-friendly restaurants and venues. Locals and visitors alike cherish the variety of cuisines, the warmth of the service, and the welcoming atmosphere that these dining spots provide.

As you explore Melbourne, you'll discover that almost every corner (and certainly every bustling street) offers a perfect place for a family meal, catering to young children, teens, and large groups alike.

Join us as we delve into the best family restaurants Melbourne has to offer, from casual breakfast spots to cultural cuisine hubs, and discover why this city is a haven for families looking to enjoy great food together.

What’s Inside This Blog

Café or Espresso Bar Location Distance from Dorsett Melbourne
Port Bistro 615 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne On-site at Dorsett Melbourne
Brunetti Classico 380 Lygon St, Carlton 10-minute drive or 20-minute bus and walk
Hopscotch Melbourne Ground Floor/4 Riverside Quay, Southbank 10-minute drive or 20-minute walk
Café Court at Emporium Melbourne 536 Lonsdale St, Melbourne 6-minute walk
Urban Alley Brewing 12 Star Circus, Docklands 7-minute drive or 16-minute tram and walk
Time Out Fed Square 2 Swanston St, Fed Square, Melbourne 9-minute drive or 15-minute train and walk
Achelya Restaurant 23 Aquitania Way, Docklands 6-minute drive or 9-minute tram
Chocolate Buddha Swanston St and Flinders St, Fed Square, Melbourne 9-minute drive or 15-minute train and walk

Breakfast & Brunch Spots

Port Bistro at Dorsett Melbourne

615 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne

Buffet breakfast dishes at Port Bistro

Kick off your day with a buffet breakfast at Port Bistro, located within Dorsett Melbourne. Complete with all the trimmings and with plenty of cold and hot options ready to go, our buffet ensures that both kids and adults start their day on a high note.

The best part? Children ages 0-5 years eat for free! Now that’s family-friendly dining Melbourne-style.

  • Kid-friendly menu options: A variety of cereals, pancakes, fruit, and yoghurt – our buffet selections are every little one’s dream.

  • Entertainment for kids: Coloring sheets and crayons available.

  • Allergen-friendly options: Gluten-free and dairy-free choices are clearly labelled.

  • Family packages and offers: Buffet breakfast is $39pp for adults, $15pp for children aged 5-12 years, and complimentary for children under 5.

Brunetti Classico

380 Lygon St, Carlton

Feeling indulgent? Spoil the kids (and yourself!) with a visit to this iconic and beloved eatery – and one of the best family restaurants in Melbourne.

Brunetti Classico is an authentic Italian gem in the heart of Lygon Street, and it’s worth a visit simply to gaze at the many stunning pastries, cakes, and desserts that fill the display – though of course, you’ve got to try at least a few.

Brunetti Classico has become famous for its traditional cakes, sweets, gelati, filled donuts, and impeccable coffee. Stop by during your travels and treat the family to one of these moreish indulgences!

Aside from the sweet factor, Brunetti also offers sit-down dining for breakfast, lunch, and dinner at its flagship Carlton restaurant. Everything is family-friendly, a perfect match for the family-owned and run institution, and we’re sure the little ones will love the dedicated kids’ menu.

  • Kid-friendly menu options: Bunny-shaped pizza, pasta, lasagna, cotoletta, and piadina nutella.

  • Allergen-friendly options: Gluten free pasta available.

Hopscotch Melbourne

Ground Floor/4 Riverside Quay, Southbank

Perched on the banks of the Yarra River, Hopscotch Melbourne is a fun and vibrant spot known for its extensive beer selection and family-friendly vibes. The al fresco venue lends itself to a beautiful day by the water, with plenty to look at for kids and adults alike.

As for the food, this classic urban beer garden knows how to whip up delicious meals fast – meaning everyone at the table will be pleased! From poke bowls and mac & cheese to stacked burgers and beer battered chips, the Hopscotch Melbourne menu is a feast waiting to be enjoyed.

With live music every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and a dedicated ‘Little Hoppers’ menu to please fussy eaters, Hopscotch is one of the best family-friendly restaurants in Melbourne.

  • Kid-friendly menu options: Cheeseburger sliders, fried chicken, crumbed fish, and falafel nuggets.

  • Entertainment for kids: Chalkboard, chalk, and colouring packs.

  • Allergen-friendly options: Dairy free, gluten free, and vegetarian options available.

Related: The Best of Melbourne’s Coffee Culture

Casual & Outdoor Dining

Café Court at Emporium Melbourne

536 Lonsdale St, Melbourne

Nothing beats a classic food court when out and about with the family, and no one does it better than Emporium Melbourne. The Emporium Café Court is an upscale food court offering a variety of delicious dining options perfect for families.

Take your pick from delicious eateries like Dumpling Chef, Bombay Bar, Grill’d, SpudBAR, Sushi Jiro Express, OMI x KZO, and many more.

  • Kid-friendly menu options: Pizza, noodles, burgers, sushi, desserts – there are plenty of family-friendly Melbourne dining options here!

  • Entertainment for kids: Spacious seating areas with games centres Fortress Melbourne and Million Life nearby.

  • Allergen-friendly options: Many vendors provide allergy-friendly choices, but it’s always best to ask your chosen restaurant and check their individual menus.

Urban Alley Brewery

12 Star Circus, Docklands

Two people pulling slices of pizza

Credit: Urban Alley Brewery

Don’t be put off by the fact that this is a brewery – at Urban Alley in the District Docklands, kids of all ages are more than welcome!

The Brewery offers a relaxed, open-air environment perfect for families. The wheelchair-friendly space is great for larger groups and prams, and the kids will love soaking in the sunshine outside – provided the Melbourne weather cooperates, of course.

Friendly staff at Urban Alley Brewery are always on the lookout for little ones and come armed with colouring kits to keep busy minds occupied.

As for the food – well, take your pick! Urban Alley is a classic gastropub with palate-pleasing menu items like pizzas, burgers, chicken parmigiana, and porterhouse steaks.

For the grownups, the specialty beers on tap are second to none. We recommend the Slapshot Aussie Pale Ale, which won 3rd Best Pale Ale in the world at World Beer Cup

  • Kid-friendly menu options: Chicken nuggets, fish bites, calamari, and spaghetti.

  • Allergen-friendly options: There are plenty of gluten free, vegetarian, and vegan options available.

  • Family packages and offers: Different specials are on every day of the week, with $20 lunches on offer Monday to Friday from 12-12:30pm.

Time Out Fed Square

2 Swanston St, Fed Square, Melbourne

Family dining in Melbourne doesn’t get more iconic than a visit to Fed Square, and as its flagship restaurant, Time Out is the perfect breakfast or lunch pitstop.

Located on the bustling corner of Swanston and Flinders Streets, Time Out is perched in the centre of the famous Federation Square. Enjoy sprawling outdoor seating and drink in the sights and sounds as you people-watch.

A perfect spot for family dining in Melbourne, Time Out Fed Square offers a wide range of dishes to suit all tastes.

  • Kid-friendly menu options: There’s no specified kids’ menu, but we know the little ones will love Time Out’s buttermilk pancakes, nachos, margherita pizzas, fish and chips, and a range of scrumptious desserts.

  • Entertainment for kids: Outdoor seating with a view of the big screen at Fed Square.

  • Allergen-friendly options: Gluten free choices available.

Cultural & Diverse Cuisine

Achelya Restaurant

23 Aquitania Way, Docklands

Achelya Restaurant in the Docklands offers a delightful taste of Turkish cuisine. Just a short distance from Dorsett Melbourne, this vibrant venue serves up a feast for the senses with its rich flavours and aromatic spices.

Located in the vibrant District Docklands, Achelya is the perfect place to stop and sit for lunch during a fabulous day exploring the precinct. While you’re there, we recommend treating the family to Archie Brothers Cirque Electrique, a whirlwind of arcade games, dodgem cars, ten-pin bowling, and more.

  • Kid-friendly menu options: Chicken nuggets and chips, Fish fingers and chips, or a Kofte plate and chips.

  • Entertainment for kids: Traditional Turkish music and belly dancing performances.

  • Family packages and offers: Banquets available in four options.

Chocolate Buddha

Swanston St and Flinders St, Fed Square, Melbourne

Families eating at Chocolate Buddha in Melbourne

Credit: Broadsheet

Head back to Fed Square and this time, try the food and fun at Chocolate Buddha. This express sushi and traditional Japanese restaurant combines fresh, exquisite cuisine with a family-friendly atmosphere in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD.

The open-plan venue boasts long tables and floor-to-ceiling windows, perfect for people-watching. Take a seat in the dining section and enjoy upscale Japanese with a twist, like the Seared Wagyu Yakiniku Hotplate and the Spicy Pork Ramen.

For a fun and deliciously moreish experience, the sushi train at Chocolate Buddha is a must. Chow down on fresh sushi and sashimi, from soft shell crab to BBQ chicken.

  • Kid-friendly menu options: Bento boxes, sushi, and tempura.

  • Entertainment for kids: There’s no dedicated play options here, but the novelty of the serve-yourself sushi train is always a fun experience for kids of all ages.

  • Allergen-friendly options: An extensive section of the menu is dedicated to gluten free options. Vegan and vegetarian dishes are also available.

Dorsett Melbourne: A Holiday For the Whole Family

With this guide, you're well-equipped to enjoy the best family restaurants in Melbourne. From hearty breakfasts to riverside dinners, there's something for every family.

Travelling with your furry family member, too? We’ve got you covered. Explore Dorsett Melbourne's pet-friendly hotel rooms, where four-legged guests are just as welcome as you are.

Our pet-friendly accommodations come with tasty treats for your pooch and a delectable doggy room service menu, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable stay for the whole family.

Book your stay at Dorsett Melbourne today and embark on a culinary adventure with your family, discovering the best family-friendly dining options Melbourne has to offer!

Further reading: Top Accessible Spots to Check Out in Melbourne